Jurgen Klopp and Brendan Rodgers have opposing views on Hamza Choudhury’s foul on Mo Salah yesterday. As reported by The Daily Mail, Klopp was furious with the challenge while Rodgers played it down.
Late in the game, Choudhury went sliding in for a full-blooded challenge on Salah. The Egyptian was sprinting at full pace when Choudhury, who had only been on the pitch for a matter of minutes, came crashing into him.
This meant Salah had to hobble off the pitch and he was replaced by Adam Lallana in injury time. Liverpool went on to win the game 2-1 thanks to James Milner’s penalty but Klopp was still livid with Choudhury’s challenge.
Klopp: ‘Super player but these kind of challenges?’
Klopp hinted that Choudhury should have received a red card. He said (via The Mail): “If you bring down a player in full sprint, when the ball is not around, it is for me only one colour.
“It’s dangerous as hell. I don’t want to cause the boy any problems but he has to calm down. He is a super player, super development in the last two years. But these kind of challenges? No.
“If you are quick someone needs to make sure that not everything is allowed to bring you down. The ball is not even close. I don’t need to be a football manager to know this can cause serious injury. I only need two eyes.”
Rodgers: ‘Honest boy’
Rodgers, on the other hand, defending his player. The Leicester boss said that the context of the game made it look worse than it was. He said (via The Mail): “I don’t think it was a really bad challenge. The emotion of the game, it might seem worse than it was. He is an honest boy Hamza, he makes challenges but I don’t think there was anything malicious.”
It was a reckless challenge by Choudhury and it probably warranted a red card. This is how the England U21 starlet plays and with time he will start to learn to be less rash in the tackle.
Klopp has this spot on; Choudhury is a top talent but he needs to cut this out of this game. If he doesn’t, he will be picking up red cards too regularly to make the next step in his career.